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Man Utd boosted by financial results

Manchester United's gross debt has been cut to £433.2 million after posting a 16.5% increase in first-quarter turnover to £73.8m.

The Premier League champions reported growth in all areas, with their £40 million deal with training kit sponsors DHL helping the commercial side enjoy a rise of 22.3% to £29.6m.

After winning a record 19th English league title, United's status as top-flight winners saw their media revenues jump from £19.4m to £22.6m. Their domestic success also ensures they receive more of the Champions League pot and land a lucrative five-match tour of the United States.

The club have also been boosted by the news their matchday income has grown 9.6% to £21.6m, which is largely down to the completion of the Old Trafford quadrants. The luxurious facilities, finished in 2006, have finally lead to the first sell-out of seasonal hospitality boxes.

After a campaign that saw them land the title as well as reach the Champions League final, United may struggle to better their annual turnover of £331.4m and profits of £110.9m, particularly if rivals Manchester City maintain their strong start to the season.

The commercial side will be heavily relied upon to yield yet more financial gain, but commercial director Richard Arnold is relaxed about the outlook.

"There is only one Manchester United," he said. "Whilst a lot of the strategy is public knowledge, I am very fortunate to be with the club I am with and able to do these deals.

"A lot of hard work has gone into getting to the position we are in now and we are already looking to the future.

"If people want to recreate what we did five years ago that is up to them. It isn't other clubs that I worry about; it is what we are going to be doing in the future."

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